Veteran Egyptian film critic Samir Farid will receive the prestigious Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) Lifetime Achievement Award on the opening night of the festival's 10th edition, running 6-14 December.
The DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award is presented every year to film professionals for exceptional contributions to cinema. This year marks the first that the award is given to a film critic.
DIFF director Abdulhamid Juma, who calls Farid 'a giant in the field,' says he was picked for the honour because of his passion for Arab cinema, which he has been tirelessly writing about and promoting for fifty years. He also thinks the choice emphasises the importance of critics for the world of cinema - since they act as 'historians and archivists' of film - and that Farid has been one of the best writers and critics to take on this role; identifying trends and movements and articulating the characteristics of Egyptian and Arab cinema through a unique analytical gift.
Farid became film critic of Cairo's daily newspaper, Al-Gomhoreya, in 1965, and has been writing about films ever since. In addition to his career at Al-Gomhoreya, which lasted for 38 years, he also founded the National Festival of Short and Documentary Films (1970), the National Festival of Feature Films (1971), and two unions for film critics. He has served on international film juries since 1972 and has been a member of the FIPRESCI international critics’ union since 1971.
Previous recipients of the DIFF Lifetime Achievement include Omar Sharif, Faten Hamamah, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Amitabh Bachchan, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Youssef Chahine, Rachid Bouchareb, Souleymane Cisse, Nabil El-Maleh, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, Yash Chopra and Mahmoud Abdel Aziz.
This year, in addition to Farid, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to American star Martin Sheen.